President Ram Nath Kovind has approved the Assam Witch Hunting (Prohibition, Prevention and Protection) Bill, 2015, converting it to an Act. This comes almost three years after the bill was passed by the state Assembly.
It may be mentioned here that the Act imposes a punishment of up to seven years term in jail and a fine of up to five lakh rupees.
As per information available on the official website of the president’s secretariat, Kovind had given his assent to the Bill on June 13, making any offence under the Act as non-bailable, cognizable and non-compoundable.
It may be mentioned here that between 2001 and 2017, as many as 193 people – 114 women and 79 men – had been branded as witch and killed. 202 cases have been registered by the police during this period, informed Additional Director General of Police (CID) Anil Kumar Jha.
To tackle this menace, the Assam Assembly had unanimously passed a Bill on August 13, 2015, which has now become an act.
The Act would be imposed, along with Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), if someone is killed after being branded as witch. It also talks about various measures that the administration and police should initiate, along with NGOs and civil society, to educate people about witch-hunting.
(Inputs from PTI)
Featured photo: Twitter